South African Hardy Pelargoniums

Looking for South African hardy pelargoniums? Learn more about the hardy pelargoniums in South Africa…

Most of the planters know how fond gardeners are of the collection of South African pelargonium species. Many nurseries offer lovely collections of different plants as they are both available as summer or winter dormant. There are different cultivars that are propagated through seeds, from connections of the late Michael Vassar, which were cultivated in South Africa and also vegetatively propagated from the plants that have previously grown from different seeds. There are many cultivars under the MV collection, which are close to being identical. Therefore some of them (considered redundant) have been discontinued.

Some of the hardy flowers are also the night-scented pelargoniums, the angel and the pansy face as well as the scented leaf South African pelargoniums.

Even though the original angel and pansy-face plants go as far back as the late 19th century there have been many hybrids that were introduced only in the past two decades. These include different plants from all over the world. These include pelargonium from the cultivars like the ‘Maria Garcia’, ‘Arcturus, ‘Bernice Ladroot’, and P. ‘Romona. These hardy plants grow to a maximum height of 24 inches and are known to flower in climates that have cool nights. They flower from the middle of spring all the way to the fall and make the perfect occupant of a window box. In climates with cool nights, they are very well suited to pots and window boxes.

Cross Breeding

Many gardeners and hybrid creators are interested in producing different leaf shapes and flower colors by cross-pollination their flowers. Most of these flowers require protection from the hot sun. However, light is required to increase the size of a plant and one can notice at least a marginal difference in the size of plants in bright light conditions. Interestingly enough good lighting results in dense and floriferous plants.

It is necessary to remove the dead heads in order for the plant to keep flowering over and over again. Shrubs will always flower in the right situations but need to be pruned sometimes. When the plants are dormant or suffer from intense heat or rain they have to be protected to preserve them.


Another kind of shrub is the Scented-Leaf, which has over 100 varieties. They have been considered sentimental favorites for centuries. These South African pelargoniums are very hardy and have amazing fragrances, which are very noticeable. From lemon and lime to ginger, nutmeg, balsam and strawberry to peppermint, coconut and peach along with rose, apricot and apple there are many fragrance to sample—to name just a few. They can grow to very large sizes if planted in the ground, but it is possible to keep them in terra-cotta pots to restrain their growth.

They must be pruned regularly and are very sensitive to frost. It is possible to cut roots and pot them in the soil and new cuttings can be made each year for them to flower. Interestingly enough, the leaves of the plant can be utilized for different applications. These include the creation of different recipes, potpourri, cooking and creating home based toiletries. There are many cultivars that have been created as sentimental favorites, which include a total of three plants and the more than 125 species and primary hybrids.

As compared to the other pelargoniums, the night scented species are generally equipped with tuberous roots and grow abundantly in the winter and remain dormant in the summer.

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